Punta Cana is a part of La Altagracia province in the easternmost portion of the Dominican Republic, on the east side of Hispaniola island. The Punta part of the name refers to the tip of this peninsula that abuts both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, while the Cana part comes from an indigenous word meaning virgin forest.
The resorts and beaches in this area are considered some of the best in the world, making this region one of the most popular destinations for Caribbean vacations. The main tourist center of the area is Bavaro, which contains most of the all-inclusive resorts. The district of Punta Cana also includes an exclusive high-end luxury project called Cap Cana with exclusive upscale hotels and golf courses. The small fishing village of Cabeza de Toro and a rocky coastline are located north of the beach area, while the city of Higuey is about an hour away.
The easternmost coast of the Dominican Republic is home to many different types of wildlife, including tropical fish, turtles, birds and exotic plants. The natural marine pools along the coast are great for swimming and snorkeling. The area also has several ecotourism tours, including horseback riding, visiting nature parks and going on an exciting all-terrain vehicle adventure to blast through the jungle at top speeds. Visiting the Dominican Republic's smaller Caribbean islands of Saona and Catalina is possible with day trips from Punta Cana, and Santo Domingo and Los Haitises National Park are within a few hours’ drive.